Giving Back: Adopt an Elder

Giving Back: Adopt an Elder

Almost everyone has seen those heart-wrenching commercials that plead with viewers to “adopt” an underprivileged child or abused animal. There are seemingly thousands of programs that help connect sponsors with those in need, but did you know these programs are limited to helping just animals and children?

There are a fair number of programs that connect sponsors with a struggling elder with limited resources. They help older adults make ends meet, get the care they need, and feel supported and loved.

If this sounds like a worthwhile cause to you, check out these “adopt an elder” programs:

  • Unbound – Unbound is based in Kansas, and connects people with adults ages 60 and above in developing nations in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Unbound sponsors donate $36 a month to help give these adults food, medical care, support and recreation. This program helps more than 31,000 elders from 18 different countries.
  • Adopt an Elder – This nonprofit seeks to give older adults in Northern California financial aid for assisted living facilities. Many elders need assisted living care, but can’t afford it. Adopt an Elder gives these people $350 per month, while donors only have to contribute $25 per month. Donors can also interact with beneficiaries through holiday gifts and social engagements.
  • Adopt a Senior – Adopt a Senior gives volunteers the chance to donate and connect with long term care facility residents. Donors give $50 annually to give patients personalized gifts, cards, and seasonal presents. Volunteers can also go visit the patients to hand-deliver the gifts, or stay in touch with their “adopted” senior through phone calls or letters. This program serves 1,300 adults in the New York and New Jersey area.
  • Adopt a Native Elder – The majority of elders living in the remote areas of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and Utah are below the poverty line. Adopt a Native Elder helps these elders with food, medicine, clothing, and firewood. Donors give $200 a year, and receive a photo of their “adopted” elder along with his or her contact information. Donors and elders are encouraged to connect, and often develop lasting friendships. This nonprofit has served 2,000 elders since 1991.
  • Be a Santa To a Senior – The holidays can be especially lonely for aging adults, so Be a Santa To a Senior seeks to assuage this loneliness by giving elders a meaningful community. Local organizations gather senior “wish lists,” and Be a Santa distributes them to donors. These lists often include blankets, gloves and other personal care items. Based in Nebraska, this program works with more than 200 senior care franchises, and has served more than 700,000 seniors since 2003.

It’s easy to forget that seniors need help, especially in our youth-obsessed culture. These are just a few of the programs that help make sure our elders are not forgotten, and get the love and care they deserve.

If any of these programs intrigue you, follow the links to learn more. You will never regret doing your part to help those in need.

Do you already support a senior organization we didn’t mention? Tell us about it below! Check back for more articles soon.

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